5 tips to protect yourself
Updated: Aug 11, 2021
Carry a Defense Spray
To protect yourself against attacks from perpetrators on the street, carry pepper spray. A standard canister of civilian pepper spray contains about 10 percent capsaicin, which is enough to cause temporary blindness, labored breathing, anxiety, and panic. The effects will generally last 20 minutes or more. This allows ample time for you to flee the scene of an attack and contact authorities.
2. Throw Your Purse or Wallet Away From You
Often, a criminal is purely after your money or valuables. If you are pursued by an attacker and you think he wants your cash, take out your wallet and throw it away from your person. The perp will go for the wallet, giving you a couple of minutes to run in the other direction while you contact authorities. The same story with your purse ― throw it away from yourself and run like mad in the opposite direction. It’s better to lose your money than get a black eye and a broken rib while you also lose your money.
3. Avoid Unsafe Situations
Often, common sense is your best self-defense. Don’t go to the automatic teller machine at 1 a.m. If you have to go out to a store late at night, choose a store with a well-lit parking lot. Also, if you have the option, choose a larger store that is likely to have a security guard overnight, rather than a store with a single employee at the cash register. Many 24-hour grocery stores employ security guards and an overnight work crew.
Steer clear of shady neighborhoods and dark alleys. Take the main streets rather than back roads when you’re driving at night. Avoid parking in desolate areas at any time of the day or night. If you see police activity, avoid the area entirely.
4. Look Tough
If a perpetrator is looking for someone to rob or harass, he or she is going to target someone who looks weak, shy or afraid. Make yourself look like anything but a victim. Walk with good posture, make eye contact and stay alert. Keep your shoulders back and carry yourself with a bit of attitude. Don’t slouch or keep your eyes down. Do your best to look tough and confident. Given the choice, an attacker will move onto someone who looks like they won’t fight back.
5. Put Your Phone Away
When you’re walking and texting, or you’ve got a phone to your ear, you aren’t tuned in with the world around you. You’re being cautious not to run into a pole or tree while you text or you’re distracted with the phone conversation you’re having. If you’re allowing yourself to be sidetracked by your phone, you’re an excellent target for an attacker. Muggers, rapists, pickpockets, and thieves are watching and waiting for people who aren’t paying attention to their surroundings and engaged in their phones. Stay off your phone and be aware.